Friday 31 January 2014
The practice of "poaching" researchers and research centres has come under fire, with Vice-Chancellors calling for a review of the ARC guidelines around proximity of staff movements to the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) census date of 31 March 2014. Recent moves include the Centre for Positive Psychology and Education, which has shifted across town from the University of Western Sydney to the Australian Catholic University, and the Centre for Choice, which has been acquired by the University of South Australia from the University of Technology, Sydney. Also on the move is Monash’s Centre for Policy Studies, which will move into Victoria University’s Centre for Strategic Economic Studies. The NTEU has slammed the practice as another âundesirable consequenceâ of the sector’s focus on ERA outcomes.
- http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/call-for-arc-to-halt-the-churning/story-e6frgcjx-1226812379573 [paywall]
- http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/vu-gets-monash-research-centre-amid-poaching-controversy/story-e6frgcjx-1226814221436 [paywall]
- http://www.nteu.org.au/article/Media-Release%3A-ERA%E2%80%99s-undesirable-consequences-need-to-be-investigated-15854 [no paywall]
As the date for the release of the report into the demand-driven system of student funding nears, universities are divided as to the system’s sustainability and it impact on quality. In a detailed analysis in The Australian, University of Melbourne VC Glyn Davis and Victoria University Chancellor Peter Dawkins suggest that the likely outcomes of the review will be an endorsement of the principle that student demand shapes the system but some deregulation of student contributions so that future growth is funded by students. The University of Adelaide’s Warren Bebbington argues that there are insufficient data as yet in the new system to assess the role of ATARs, and that the focus should be on increasing retention and the quality of graduates rather than on "gaming" ATARs through misleading cut-offs or bonus scores. Regional universities, including Central Queesland University’s Scott Bowman, have critiqued the perception that the ATAR is an "immaculate indicator" of students’ academic potential, noting that lower ATAR levels do not erode university quality. Innovative Research Universities chair John Dewar has highlighted the "pressure coming down" on the system to propose expansion of sub-degree places and a formula-based allocation to redistribute postgraduate places. Meanwhile, the federal Department of Employment has raised concerns that increasing numbers of students may lead to reduced job prospects for graduates, especially in the context of a softening labour market, and has recommended removing a number of professions from the skilled migration priority list.
- http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/an-elegant-package-that-sustains-but-limits/story-e6frgcjx-1226812294492 [paywall]
- http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/lift-the-graduation-rate-not-enrolment-numbers/story-e6frgcjx-1226812289208 [paywall]
- http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/iru-warns-of-falling-enrolments/story-e6frgcjx-1226812297132 [paywall]
- http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/its-useful-to-know-the-score-but-not-enough/story-e6frgcjx-1226812237384 [paywall]
- http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/atar-gate-widens-to-career-start-degrees/story-e6frgcjx-1226812297410 [paywall]
- http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/red-flag-over-university-graduate-jobs/story-e6frgcjx-1226812520394 [paywall]
- http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/accountant-glut-prompts-skilledmigrant-list-rethink/story-e6frgcjx-1226812384269 [paywall]
Macquarie Capital has taken a majority stake in student accommodation provider Iglu, which owns and operates 900 student beds in Sydney and Brisbane. Iglu’s operations are targetd primarily at international students at present, although Macquarie has indicated that it intends to tap into unmet demand caused by the increasing mobility of domestic students. In other infrastructure news, design work has now commenced on a new hospital at the University of Canberra’s Bruce campus, which will be paid for by the ACT government and housed on the university’s land.
- http://www.afr.com/p/business/property/macquarie_capital_buys_iglu_stake_orNwFvHj7gCJlf3aQThcmI [paywall]
- http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-21/design-work-begins-on-uc-public-hospital/5211200 [no paywall]
NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has defended his government’s controversial plan to set minimum HSC attainment scores for teaching courses, arguing that the tougher requirements are essential to provide "assurance" to the community about the quality of graduate teachers. Piccoli states that the government will not set a minimum ATAR, which is "determined and implemented" by universities, but that graduates wishing to teach in NSW would need to attain at least three Band 5 results (80% or higher) in their HSC. Under the Piccoli plan, universities would also only be able to offer courses registered by the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Education Standards – this accreditation is in addition to the national accreditation all such courses currently undergo. The federal body, the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, is working slowly through accreditation of teacher education programs, with early results suggesting up to 10% might fail accreditation. The federal Department of Education has also stepped into the fray, suggesting that secondary school teaching should lose its status as a priority area for skilled migration due to oversupply, except in the disciplines of maths, science and language teaching.
- http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/the-right-people-in-the-classroom/story-e6frgcjx-1226812230684 [paywall]
- http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/quality-checks-fail-the-speed-test/story-e6frgcjx-1226812331512 [paywall]
- http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/catch-22-in-maths-languages/story-e6frgcjx-1226813364248 [paywall]
ANU, Macquarie and Monash have been named Australia’s most international universities in a ranking by the Times Higher Education magazine, with results based on international student numbers, levels of international staff and internationally co-authored papers. In international education news, The Australian reports that the Department of Immigration will be cracking down on so-called "college-jumpers", who enrol in Australian universities under streamlined visa arrangements and then transfer to cheaper private colleges or vocational programs.